Last night, G4TV aired a segment on the upcoming MMORPG from Cheyenne Mountain Entertainment, Stargate Worlds.
The video itself, which can be watched in its entirety here, not only provided a few tidbits of new information about the upcoming game, but also gives us our first look at the gameplay itself. I’m going to use this blog entry to talk a little bit about my impressions of the video and what we learned.
What We Learned
The X-Play segment didn’t provide a whole lot of new information for people who have been following the game’s development, but they did clarify a number of issues:
The characters from the TV series will make appearances in the game, and they will be voiced by the actors.
Personally, I like this development. It’s something that Cheyenne Mountain has been teasing us with almost since the game was announced. It seems like a no-brainer to me from a design perspective. If they want us to believe that this game will somehow run congruently with the show, and that it is a continuation of the lore, then they more or less had to make the familiar faces available to players for interaction.
They are not going for a first person shooter style in combat
There has been some speculation amongst fans that SGW should be using a more first-person inspired combat style for their game. After all, they have been touting their combat system since day one. Tactics, they tell us, are going to be very important in the game. Things like cover, line of sight, etc are going to be very important.
From where I stand, while a first person combat system would have been cool, I don’t know if that would have really fit in with what the developers are trying to accomplish. I think that a more standard MMORPG combat system is probably a good idea.
To me, the combat portions of the video took me immediately back to Tabula Rasa. In fact, the two games seem to share a combat system (I’m sure that further details will show that they are actually quite different). I’m hoping that they find a way to make players feel a little bit more like they were in control than Tabula Rasa did. In that game, I never quite felt like I was in control of actually shooting the enemies. I think the best way to describe it would be Storm Trooper syndrome: I point the gun and I pull the trigger, but where that lazer ends up is anyone’s guess.
I thought that, for the most part, the game looks like it’s coming along nicely. As I’m seeing more and more of it coming together, I’m really digging the art style of the game. Like they said in the video, they’re not going for photo-realism, and I think that was a wise move. Trying to make the game look too real would have undermined the idea that they can get away with more in terms of what they create and add to the TV series lore. With a slightly more stylized (but nothing I would go so far as to call cartoony) art style, they have the freedoms to make the players look cooler and more heroic.
The trailer moved along at a pretty good clip, giving the impression that this is going to be a fast-paced game. Hopefully, the team has learned from the past mistakes of others and won’t make the game so fast paced that the players lose sight of what they’re doing.
All of that being said, I also noticed that some of the animations were sped up considerably (check out the speed at which the “ripples” on the gate shimmer. It’s way too fast), so it’s really hard to tell how much of the game we got to see in real time. Hard to blame anyone at CME though, they were very specific about the fact that they are in very early alpha.
Overall, I have high hopes for this game, and if agreeing to this profile on G4 was CME’s way of reminding the MMO world that they exist and are in development, they probably succeeded. We expect to hear a lot more from that team about this game over the summer, so stay tuned!